Kitten “baby bags” full of supplies that foster caregivers can use to help keep their kittens healthy are a fun way to ensure that your foster families have everything they need. To help make this program a reality at your organization, check out these three tips outlined below, courtesy of Cat Adoption Team (CAT)’sFostering 4 Rock Stars program.
Include the Right Supplies
Having the right supplies in your baby bags is key. Take a look at CAT’s guide for items that should be included in the bag, including special add-ons for pregnant cats, queens with kittens under four weeks, bottle babies, and kittens who need extra socialization. If your organization can’t provide all the items on CAT’s list, prioritize quick-read thermometers, lubricant, rubbing alcohol, and digital scales, as these items will help your foster caregivers identify potential medical problems early. You may also consider including amoxicillin or Strongid in your bags (please note that diagnoses and treatment decisions should be made under the guidance of a veterinarian familiar with your program, either directly or via a protocol specifically tailored to your program).
Because some items can be pricey, consider asking for them as donations. You can hold a kitten shower, make timely asks on your social media pages, or add certain items to your organization’s online donation wish list. You may also want to consider tracking which expensive items, like scales, are “checked out” of the shelter through your POS system or an Excel spreadsheet.
Be Diligent About Sanitization
Because kittens are so susceptible to infection, it’s critical that all items are properly sanitized before and after use. Check out CAT’s supply cleaning protocol, and be sure to consult your organization’s own sanitation protocols to determine what specific steps you should follow.
Involve Your Volunteers
Consider having shelter volunteers put your kitten baby bags together. Not only is this a fun activity, but it may help take some of the burden off your foster team, especially during kitten season. If your volunteers want to be even more involved, have them go thrifting for bags or, if they have sewing skills, ask them to make their own—just make sure the bags are machine washable and bleach durable.
To see more of CAT’s Fostering 4 Rock Stars materials, including those specific to kitten baby bags, check out their website.